Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ENEMY LOVER by Karin Harlow

L.O.S.T. Series, Book 1
Publisher: Pocket Star Books
Date Published: June 2010
ISBN: 9781439109823
Paranormal Romance, Vampire
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Lil
Obtained via Publisher

Angela Giacomelli had been a great cop but a sting gone wrong left her raped and mutilated. When her attacker was allowed to walk free, she stepped off the path of the legal system and took her revenge. Unfortunately, the same system which had failed her so badly was then used against her with great efficiency.

She has come to the notice of a secret and elite group called the Last Option Special Team, or L.O.S.T. From the ashes of her old life, she is to all extents and purposes reborn as Jax Cassidy, the only female member. Her assignment now is to infiltrate a questionable and deadly shadow group called The Solution so that she and her team can eliminate the formidable assassin/right-hand-man, Marcus Cross, and then the leader, Joseph Lazarus. For this plan to work, Jax will have to come to the notice of Marcus, keep his attention and get very close.

However, Jax isn’t the only one who has been reborn. She will soon discover that Marcus has also been given a second chance at life, though not as she knows it.

ENEMY LOVER is the gripping first book to what promises to be an edgy new series. We are introduced to L.O.S.T. very early on and get a taste of this tough-as-nails team. They are also each and every one of them a once wounded soul.

Our heroine is no exception as evidenced by her roiling anger, outrage and fears after her experience of being raped first by the bad guy and then by the law. The set up made the transformation to efficient killer/super-secret-agent something that we wanted to believe.

With so much to set up, the story felt a little slow to start. The main characters don’t meet until a fairly substantial way into the book. That said, the action and suspense just didn’t stop. The arrogance of Lazarus and his Machiavellian ways make it easy for the reader to be repelled by him and The Solution.

Unfortunately, there were some shades of that in L.O.S.T. as well. That was a bit of the difficulty that I had with this story. The good guys resembled the bad in some of the liberties that they were willing to take in order to accomplish their goals. The main difference appeared to be degree of coldness in their acts.

Marcus Cross is fascinating for being such a dark, tortured hero. He is strong, sexy, and dangerous. Experience has not removed a persistent sense of justice from him. Even his allegiance to Lazarus displays a quality, that of loyalty. After all, Lazarus is his maker and though he did not wish for the life of a vampire, he did wish for a life.

As a whole, this was a good beginning to the series. It was definitely difficult for me to put down and attend to other responsibilities. The greatest weakness for the tale was that the vampire world was not explained as well as one would have liked. Because of this, the ending seemed somewhat abrupt and not as credible as expected from the calibre of writing in the rest of the book.

ENEMY LOVER is as dark and gritty of a paranormal romance as I have come across. Ms Harlow has created a dangerous and addictive series to get L.O.S.T. in, if you dare.

This is an objective review and not an endosement of the book.

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